As you may recall from one of my earliest posts, will power is not my thing. Follow-through is also not my strong suit. I’m really good at making excuses for why I don’t need to run, why I shouldn’t run. And then I’m really good at justifying those decisions with perfectly reasonable, logical arguments, so that in the moment, I feel good about choosing not to exercise. And then later is the regret, the guilt, the questioning-of-life-choices and why am I such an idiot? A huge part of my running journey has been learning to overcome the voices that make excuses and just GO. I’m getting better, but most days, it’s still a struggle. As I said to one of my blogger friends recently, “Inertia’s a b****.”
Last night was a scheduled run, and I just wasn’t feeling it. I was exhausted from the 5k and birthday festivities this weekend, and my legs were really sore from Monday night’s cross-training. On the one hand was the “listen to your body” excuse–You’re tired, you’re sore, you should probably just go home and stretch. Come on, you worked really hard yesterday, you deserve a break. Conserve your energy for Thursday’s 5k. And then there was the other voice–No, don’t make excuses. You’re not TOO tired, you’re not TOO sore. Just start. Just go and see how it feels. I had a huge argument with myself and as I got in the car after work, I nearly drove straight back to Ben’s parents’ house and skipped my run.
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But instead, I pulled myself together, drove to our apartment, changed into my running clothes, and out the door I went. It was a gorgeous evening–a bit overcast and a bit breezy, so it wasn’t too warm. People and other runners were out all over the place. I felt good. I focused on just taking it slow and easy. My legs didn’t hurt, my breathing was great, and I managed 2.6 miles. I could have gone further, but honestly it was such a miracle I even went at all that I won’t complain or be upset.
Nicole at The Girl Who Ran Everywhere posted recently about marking runs as “wins” or “losses,” depending on various factors, and it was really thought-provoking for me. I often think that if I don’t hit my scheduled mileage or go “too slow” that a run isn’t successful. But when I think about it, last night’s run was definitely a “win.” No, I didn’t complete my scheduled 3 miles, and I ran slower than I have in weeks. BUT–I went, even though I didn’t want to. AND–it was a good run. No pain, no shortness of breath, good weather, and (once I got going) a good state-of-mind. All of the doubts and the excuses just stopped the second I started running.
I am SO PROUD of myself for overcoming my excuses and just doing it. It’s not really my natural state to exercise, and even less so to exercise when I don’t want to. Choosing fitness and a healthy lifestyle will probably always be a challenge for me, but hopefully it will continue to get easier, and hopefully I will make the good choices more often than not.
Do you ever had days where you just don’t feel like running?
How do you convince yourself to get out there and do it anyway?